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LOS ANGELES AREA CONSUMER PRICES UP 0.5 PERCENT IN FEBRUARY

 LOS ANGELES, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices paid for goods and services purchased by consumers in the greater Los Angeles area (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties) rose 0.5 percent in February, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sam Hirabayashi, the bureau's regional commissioner, said that the thrust of the advance was centered in housing and apparel and upkeep costs. The All Items, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose to 150.0 (1982-84 equals 100), 3.5 percent above the February 1992 level. Local area CPI data are not seasonally adjusted.
 Housing costs rose 0.6 percent during the month to a level 2.1 percent above a year ago. Shelter costs were up 0.7 percent reflecting a 0.7 percent hike in both renters' and homeowners' costs. Household furnishings and operations costs rose 0.5 percent from January's level, while the fuel and other utilities sub-index dipped a slight 0.1 percent.
 Apparel and upkeep costs, which are susceptible to seasonal fluctuations, increased 4.5 percent in February after three consecutive months of price decline. Over the year, however, prices in this area of consumer spending were down 0.4 percent. Most of the increase from January levels was attributed to a 10.2 percent jump in price tags on women's and girls' clothing. Footwear prices were up 5.9 percent during the month, while the cost of men's and boys' apparel rose 1.4 percent.
 Transportation costs were up 0.3 percent for the month and 6.4 percent for the year. February's gain came as the result of a 0.4 percent rise in private transportation costs. The cost of public transportation, which includes air fares, averaged 0.4 percent below January's level.
 Up 7.7 percent from a year ago, medical care costs increased 1.7 percent during February. It was the largest one-month gain since the 2.2 percent rise reported for January 1988. The other goods and services index averaged unchanged for the month but was 10.0 percent above its February 1992 level. Entertainment costs were down 0.3 percent for the month but up 1.3 percent for the year.
 The cost of food and beverages dropped 0.6 percent in February to a level 2.8 percent higher than a year ago. Grocery prices were down 1.4 percent with almost all categories of grocery spending reporting cost declines. The food away from home index was up 0.3 percent, while prices paid for alcoholic beverages rose 0.6 percent.
 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers:
 Indexes and percent changes for selected periods
 (Data are not seasonally adjusted)
 Los Angeles-Anaheim-Riverside, Calif.
 (1982-84 equals 100, unless otherwise noted)
 Percent changes
 Indexes to Feb. 1993
 from:
 Jan. Feb. Feb. Jan.
 1993 1993 1992 1993
 Expenditure category
 All items 149.2 150.0 3.5 0.5
 All items (1967 equals 100) 440.9 443.3 -- --
 Food and beverages 144.2 143.4 2.8 -.6
 Food 142.3 141.3 2.6 -.7
 Food at home 145.5 143.5 3.0 -1.4
 Cereals and bakery products 155.9 158.4 3.6 1.6
 Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs 137.6 135.9 3.6 -1.2
 Meats, poultry, and fish 135.5 134.2 4.7 -1.0
 Dairy products 143.4 141.5 2.5 -1.3
 Fruits and vegetables 171.6 163.6 4.2 -4.7
 Other food at home 133.1 132.7 1.5 -.3
 Food away from home 138.0 138.4 1.8 .3
 Alcoholic beverages 162.7 163.6 4.7 .6
 Housing 149.9 150.8 2.1 .6
 Shelter 160.2 161.3 1.8 .7
 Renters' costs (A) 170.0 171.2 1.3 .7
 Rent, residential 157.0 156.7 1.0 -.2
 Other renters' costs 197.1 205.3 2.3 4.2
 Homeowners' costs (A) 168.9 170.1 2.1 .7
 Owners' equivalent rent (A) 169.0 170.2 2.1 .7
 Fuel and other utilities 138.6 138.4 3.1 -.1
 Fuels 138.5 138.5 2.7 .0
 Fuel oil and other household
 fuel commodities 128.7 128.7 4.3 .0
 Fuel oil NA NA -- --
 Other household fuel
 commodities (B) 129.0 129.0 4.3 .0
 Gas (piped) and electricity 138.6 138.7 2.7 .1
 Electricity 157.9 158.0 .7 .1
 Utility (piped) gas 118.9 118.9 7.5 .0
 Household furnishings and operation 120.8 121.4 2.5 .5
 Apparel and upkeep 128.9 134.7 -.4 4.5
 Apparel commodities 125.3 131.8 -.6 5.2
 Men's and boys' apparel 132.5 134.4 -.7 1.4
 Women's and girls' apparel 115.2 126.9 -2.8 10.2
 Footwear 108.4 114.8 5.9 5.9
 Transportation 137.5 137.9 6.4 0.3
 Private transportation 133.4 133.9 5.4 .4
 Motor fuel 111.7 111.8 14.7 .1
 Gasoline 112.1 112.6 15.8 .4
 Gasoline, leaded regular NA NA -- --
 Gasoline, unleaded regular 110.5 111.1 16.3 .5
 Gasoline, unleaded premium 113.8 114.2 14.7 .4
 Public transportation 193.2 192.4 13.7 -.4
 Medical care 199.0 202.3 7.7 1.7
 Entertainment 135.9 135.5 1.3 -.3
 Other goods and services 209.7 209.7 10.0 .0
 Personal care 157.9 156.9 3.4 -.6
 Special indexes
 All items less energy 152.7 153.6 3.2 .6
 Energy 120.2 120.3 9.2 .1
 (A) Indexes on a December 1982 equals 100 base.
 (B) Indexes on a December 1986 equals 100 base.
 NA Data not adequate for publication.
 -- Data not available.
 -0- 3/17/93
 /CONTACT: Faith Heinemann, 213-252-7656, or Jim Wurth, 213-252-7517, both of the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics/


CO: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics ST: California IN: HOU SU: ECO

TM -- SF003 -- 6944 03/17/93 10:07 EST
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Date:Mar 17, 1993
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